Fred Arbogast's first production lure, the Weedless Spin-Tail Kicker introduced in 1926. This ad is from the June 1926 issue of Hunting and Fishing and is considered Fred's first advertisement. Image Bill Sonnett.

It is always a pleasure to present the earliest ad for a major fishing tackle manufacturer.  The Fred Arbogast Company needs no introduction to collectors and fishermen alike.  Lures such as the Jitterbug, the Hula Popper, and the Hawaiian Wiggler are as well known to fishermen today as to fishermen fifty years ago.

Like several other famous tournament casters who designed lures, Fred’s first effort was small and heavy to facilitate easy casting.  When you ask most collectors what Fred Arbogast’s first lure was, they often think of the Tin Liz as it was his first really “big” success in the artificial bait field.  However, Fred’s first bait is one that is seldom seen today in collections or in advertising of the day.

The lead-in ad presented here is from the June 1926 issue of Hunting & Fishing magazine.  The Spin-Tail Kicker is the first commercial lure produced by Fred Arbogast and this advertisement is generally accepted as the first-ever ad for that lure.  As in many other ads for single hook lures (from various makers) that have appeared over the years, the printer has placed the bait upside down in the ad, LOL.

The pristine Fred Arbogast Spin-Tail Kicker that sold at auction in 2015 for $1,800. Image Morphy's Auctions.

Shown here, along with the original ad, is a photo (courtesy of Morphy’s Auctions) of an incredibly rare, pristine example of this 98-year-old bait with original box, card, and papers.  To give you some idea of how exceeding rare this combo is, it sold at auction in October 2015 for $1,800.